Accessibility at Family Week 2019!

Family Week in Provincetown is a special, inspiring, and enriching experience for LGBTQ families. Accessibility for all attendees is important to both Family Equality Council and COLAGE.

Creating spaces by and for LGBTQ families is world imagining work. Together we envision a society where all LGBTQ families can thrive and combating ableism is a crucial part of that mission. Below is information on accessibility during Family Week and in Provincetown and resources on how able-bodied people can be allies to folks with disabilities during Family Week. 

Resources at Family Week:

Access at Family Week

  • ASL interpreters are available throughout all of Family Week. If you or someone in your family would like to request interpretation, please indicate that in the registration form or email Emily McGranachan at emcgranachan@familyequality.org.

  • The Family Week program will be available in print and on the Family Week Website and App. While the app is not screen reader compatible, the website is screen reader compatible.

  • All venues which we use are wheelchair accessible and have either single stall or multi-stall bathrooms which are also wheelchair accessible.

  • While many spaces which we use throughout Family Week do not have All Gender Bathrooms we will put up our own signs when possible and begin conversations with businesses throughout Provincetown about the importance of All Gender Bathrooms.

  • During Family Week if you have questions, concerns, or need assistance regarding access, please contact Family Equality Council staff (in orange t-shirts) or COLAGE staff (in blue t-shirts).

  • For more information about accessibility during COLAGE Camps and events visit their section on access here!

Guide to Accessibility in Provincetown / Cape Cod

The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce has published a list of accessible beaches, trails, attractions, transportation, and lodging in Cape Cod.
Here is the list of accessible beaches in Provincetown:

  • Herring Cove Beach - Province Lands Rd, Provincetown, MA 02657 : Lifeguards in season, shower and restroom facilities. Accessible beach mats and has wheelchairs that travel over sand.

  • Race Point Beach - off Route 6 in Provincetown, MA : Lifeguards in season, restroom and shower facilities; Accessible beach mats.

  • Ryder Street West Beach - off Commercial Street in Provincetown, MA : Free access, Accessible Beach mats.

Accessible Provincetown is a great resource for accessibility information in Provincetown. They have a Welcome Center at 307 Commercial Street where there are wheelchairs and canes that can be borrowed. You can find them on their website, Facebook, or by calling 508-487-7198.


Introduction to Ableism and Allyship:

Ableism refers to ways that people with disabilities are discriminated against in society. Writer Cara Liebowitz captures the widespread manifestations of ableism in her article “Everyday Ableism and How We Can Avoid It”.  If you want to learn more about ableism, disability justice, and allyship, this resource page put together by Adrian Ballou for the Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP) Conference is a great place to start: “What is Disability Justice?”   

“Because discrimination (both subtle and overt) against disabled people is so widely accepted and integrated into our society, many well-meaning people are ableist without even realizing it.”   -Cara Lebowitz

Guidelines to Help Make Family Week an Accessible Space:

Respect Accommodations 

  • Remember that not all disabilities are visible. Everyone has a right to use the accommodations that they need without being criticized or questioned.

  • Do not pet, offer food to, or interact with service animals such as guide dogs in any way, including questioning their use or purpose.

  • When speaking to someone using an interpreter (such as an ASL interpreter), address the person you are speaking with, not the interpreter. If an interpreter is not present, you can use pen and paper or a cell phone to communicate through text to ask the person their preferred method of communication and use it.

  • Help us maintain clear walkways in all event spaces and avoid sitting on the floor near exits.

Use Caution with Flash Photography

  • Use caution with flash photography, as it can trigger seizures or other medical and emotional symptoms.

  • Ask people of all ages for permission before taking their picture or including them in your video. "Photo-Shy" badges are also available at registration and the storefront near Town Hall for any attendee.

Be Scent/Fragrance Free 

  • Please be scent/fragrance/smoke free to the extent which you can. Many people have chemical sensitivities to common chemicals and fragrances. Scented products can be important parts of one’s identity but removing fragrances is important to ensuring accessibility.

  • Find more information on being fragrance free in this article from Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s blog: “Fragrance Free Femme of Colour Genius Draft 1.5”

Be Aware of Ableist Language 

  • Refrain from using words that contribute to systems of ableism which have historically been used to harass and oppress people with disabilities. Some people prefer person first language (person with a disability), while others prefer identity first language (disabled person), and others prefer other options. If you are not sure what words to use, ask.  For more information on the history of ableist language check out this article by Lydia X. Z. Brown.

If you have any questions about accessibility at Family Week, please reach out to Emily McGranachan at emcgranachan@familyequality.org.